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Friday, 21 September 2012

Dirk Lloyd shortlisted for Roald Dahl Prize

Here's an exciting bit of news that I've been keeping under my hat for a couple of weeks, but today it can be revealed. Dark Lord: The Early Years is one of six books shortlisted for this year's Roald Dahl Funny Prize.

(To digress: obviously it disgusts me to have to write the words "Funny Prize" but that's the name the organizers have given the thing. I console myself with the thought that Roald Dahl himself would shove them out the way and correct it to "Humour Prize" with big red pen, chortling derisively to himself all the while.)

Anyway, the important thing is that the genius of the book, which I believe is Jamie's greatest work to date, is being recognized. And if Roald Dahl himself were one of the judges I have no doubt it would win. As it is, we must rely on Dirk Lloyd's talents for self-promotion and social networking. I asked Dirk for a quote and he said:
"The Roald Dahl Funny Prize? Shouldn’t that read the Dirk Lloyd Funny Prize?"
So, in the bag then.

While opening Jamie's cage to throw him an extra scrap of rancid meat as a reward, it occurred to me that credit is also due to the wacky drawings of Scrawny Earth Girl (aka Freya Hartas), depicted here in the office where her father Leo and I work on our epic comic saga Mirabilis, wearing a jacket given to her by my wife Roz. Put like this, I guess it sounds like our lives are driven by the same kind of incestuous cronyism that pervades modern politics and business, only in our case without the vast wealth and the freebie honours.

I know I'm biassed, but Dark Lord really is one of the funniest books I've ever read. I was laughing out loud all the way through, and how many books can you say that about? Pick it up in the USA from October 2 at the link above, or in the UK on Amazon here.


  1. Great news! David Walliams has the 'well-known TV personality' thing going for him... but assuming the books are judged on quality alone, I'm sure that Dirk (slash-Jamie) has it in the bag.

    So, is artistic ability passed on genetically? Because while my girlfriend is a superbly talented artist, I draw somewhat less well than the average schoolchild. I'm curious to see which one of us my three-month-old will take after.

    1. "Assuming the books are judged on quality alone..." Ah well, that has to be the biggest if in the world, Paul ;-) The Guardian reported the prize under the headline "David Walliams scores shortlist hat-trick" and the BBC went with "Chitty Chitty sequel up for comedy writing prize" and even for the Independent the real story was "The scriptwriter for the Olympic opening ceremony is to jostle with David Walliams for a top children's comedy-writing prize." The famous get famouser.

      Leo's dad taught art, design and sculpture and his father-in-law is the acclaimed children's book illustrator John Lord. And Leo met his wife Jo at art college. So if Freya doesn't have it in the blood, Mendel has some explaining to do!

    2. Red flowers or White flowers? That is the question... :)

      I hope Jamie Thomson will win the prize, he surely deserves it.

  2. Ssh! If we let Jamie knows he deserves it, he'll want other privileges like daylight and a mattress in his dungeon cell.

    As for Dirk, he says the only flowers worth giving are triffids :-)

  3. Not just nominated! Bloody won too....fantastic news and well deserved.